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Buy this essay and others in Jim's new book Being Sovereign.

The Indomitus Report
Volume 2, #5

7 February 2005

Being Sovereign

    "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
    - George S. Patton, Jr.

We've lately reviewed a number of defensive implements taking you from your skin out to about 1,500 yards. These tools are all compact and portable. You can wear body armor and carry your martial arts skills with you. You can pack a long folding knife in one pocket, a Swiss army knife in another, carry a hunting or fishing knife in a scabbard, or carry a machete in its scabbard. Your rifle comes equipped with a strap, your multi-pocket vest with plenty of room for extra magazines, even the RPG-7 launcher is easily portable. Why?

Fixed positions or posts are incredibly vulnerable to many kinds of attack. Every week, news from Iraq shows just how vulnerable. Classic battles have repeatedly demonstrated the futility of holding a post and losing an army, as Colonel Travis did with a company of men at the Alamo, as Palafox did with roughly three divisions of men and women at Saragossa, as Koresh did with a company at Mt. Carmel. Classic military campaigns have shown time and again the benefits of mobility over fortifications, whether on the attack or defense. George Washington abandoned posts to the British, was chased from Boston to Philadelphia and beyond, but kept his army intact until he was finally able to corner Cornwallis defending a hopeless position between a French navy and an American army. Sam Houston was repeatedly accused of cowardice, marching his army all over Texas until he was able to catch Santa Anna's troops literally napping. The above comment from Patton relates to fixed fortifications such as the Maginot Line and the Siegfried Line, which failed to defend either France or Germany.

Fixed positions deny to the defender the three key choices which determine victory: the time, the place, and the rules of engagement for battle. The defender must defend the fixed position, so the place of battle is not up to him. The attacker may choose where along the defender's perimeter to attack, again denying to the defender the choice. The attacker may choose to attack at any time, waiting behind siege lines for days, weeks, or even years in some cases, attacking in darkness or during inclement weather, attacking suddenly, or testing the defenses with raids. The attacker's choice of time and place of attack allows him to gather strength while the defender inevitably gathers weakness. Constant raids weaken the defenders through sleep deprivation, dulled reaction time, and siege warfare leads to food deprivation, fouled water, and diseases. The attacker may also choose the rules for engagement, raiding at will, pressing any advantage, sending in chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons.

Post-modern military strategy is based on a combination of sea, land, air, and space elements. These provide stand-off capabilities to reconnoitre from hundreds of miles away in space, from high altitude aircraft, and from stealth aircraft or drones. Naval and air bombardment can be general (as in carpet bombing) or precise (as in smart bombs delivered by cruise missile) though accuracy remains elusive. The defender of a fixed position is inevitably examined from afar for weaknesses, bombed into stupefaction, and then conquered.

Worse, the defender of a fixed position has denied to his forces the key elements of mobility, stealth, and their consequence, surprise. By their very nature, fixed fortifications are immobile. They are supremely difficult to hide. While they may be deep underground, radiation shielded, built to withstand atomic blasts, they remain vulnerable to repeated bombardment, siege, and invasion.

There are parallels to draw with your money and information. Jurisdictional arbitrage is a concept we've promoted since the first issue of this newsletter. It refers to the mobility of capital, and the opportunity you have to safeguard your wealth by dividing it among many locations rather than leaving it all in one place, vulnerable to attack. An attack in one place may not perceive the existence of funds in another, leaving you with resources to mount a defense. Moreover, by the time a prepared attack reaches your funds in one place, you may be able to move them safely to another. As well, by having multiple jurisdictions through which to defend you assets, your portfolio is less likely to be attacked - tax farming, nuisance lawsuits, and other forms of looting are activities of people lacking initiative. Or as we like to point out in an analogous situation, there is always a house down the street with no dogs and no alarm system placards.

So, your next area for examination in pursuing a layered defensive strategy must be mobility. One may project force out to 1500 yards, one may destroy anything that comes within a kilometer or so using rocket propelled grenades, but without mobility you have endless difficulties.

By analogy, your capital should be mobile. To the extent that you have to live somewhere, yes, have fixed assets. But, be prepared to abandon them in place. Again, defending posts is a poor strategy. In thinking about the places you own, consider the merits of back doors and side doors. Do not place yourself in a cul de sac. Always have an escape route. The same for capital. Always have an exit strategy.

For all their ills, the machinations of the state, the licenses, the ex post facto scrutiny, the derivative schemes and manipulations, public markets provide excellent liquidity. You cannot exit a stock if the stock doesn't trade; you cannot exit quickly if it is thinly traded. You may be able to gain liquidity by borrowing against the asset or lending it into an entity that benefits from its total asset basis (more on that another time). The same features that make public exchanges useful to sovereign individuals are the features which make gold and silver widely acceptable. You can always find a market for them, and convert value back to liquid form.

In future issues we'll examine mobility and some of the tools you may want to acquire in this respect. We'll also continue to examine asset protection strategies and wealth building tools.

Free Market Money

We continue to suspect substantial manipulation involving the GLD exchange traded fund, although proof may be some time off. Our theory that shares of GLD bought do not result in any gold being bought seems to be consistent with information now circulating about the exchange traded fund (etf). Information on the GLD and its trust structure is available from the Securities and Exchange Commission web site. We do not think it mere coincidence that the SEC waited to approve the GLD etf until after the re-election of Bush.

We agree with Mr. Ruff that buying GLD does not necessarily mean that any gold is taken off the street. Unfortunately, it is not at all clear that the converse would be true. The world could short GLD and the price of gold would likely respond. Like other paper gold instruments, the effect of GLD would seem to be making available dramatic speculative short opportunities with a resulting downward pressure on gold.

The alternative view, that the weakness in gold reflects strength in the dollar is not borne up by any careful examination of the dollar. See, for example, James Turk's analysis in his Founder's Commentary on GoldMoney.com.

We consider the price of gold in some detail below. Meanwhile, many observers believe that weakness in gold last Thursday was due to the pronouncement by IMF that there may be reason to sell some of the million ounces or so of IMF gold. Allegedly, the sale would benefit some of the impoverished developing countries, but in reality such a sale would be detrimental to many of these countries which are dependent on their gold resources for so much of their economies.

Rather than belabor the point further, we simply refer you to Paul van Eeden's excellent commentary at Kitco.com. As he points out, the actual sale of central bank gold or IMF gold is not so much the problem, but the announcements of the sales (after the fact or in contemplation) cause gold to plummet.

Gold Mining

Here's how the stocks we presently suggest in this area look right now:

Company Symbol C$ US$
s
Exploring
Almaden AMM.TO 1.91 -
C$0.17
Free Gold ITF.TO 0.30 0.226
C$0.02
Luzon LZN.V 0.21 -
- C$0.08
Holding
Lumina LCC - 6.41
1.77
Silver Standard SSRI - 11.70
- 1.08
Vista VGZ.TO 4.50 -
- C$0.50
Mining
Newmont Mining NEM - 41.38
-1.92
Northgate NXG - 1.43
- 0.22

We understand that Luzon has revised their option agreement with Vista on the Amayapampa property in Mexico. This news does not seem to have resulted in much improvement in their stock, however.

Western Prospector   WNP.V

The basic facts: 23.5 million shares outstanding, 29 million shares fully diluted. On a fully diluted basis, management holds 17% and funds or institutions 30%.

Assets: C$6 million working capital.

Carried exploration interests: C$7.5 million.

Liabilities: no long term debt

Market cap: C$31 million.

Key personnel: John Brock, CEO. Mr. Brock has 40 years experience including work for Dynasty Exploration at the time of their Faro mine discovery in the Yukon, and for Welcome North at the time of their Marigold find in Nevada. He's also served as a governor of the Vancouver Stock Exchange and the Canadian Venture Exchange. We did not meet Mr. Brock in New Orleans, nor did we attend his presentation on geothermal power.

Wayne Roberts, P. Geo., VP Exploration. Mr. Roberts has 36 years experience in mineral exploration. He directed exploration for Northern Crown in Mexico and Welcome North in Nevada, as well as American Bullion in "British" Columbia and Columbia Gold in the Yukon. He participated in the discovery of the Marigold find in Nevada and the Cirque zinc deposit in "British" Columbia.

R. E. Gordon Davis, P. Eng., Director. Mr. Davis is from Dynasty Explorations (later Cyprus Anvil Mining) where he served as a director from 1964-82. He's also been a director for Pine Point Mines, Cabre Exploration, Golden Knight Resources, Silver Standard Resources, and the creatively named Canplats Resource Corp.

Kenneth de Graaf, P. Eng., VP Ops, Mongolia, Director. Mr. de Graaf has ten years experience working in Mongolia. He worked for Cascadia Mining, which at one point had 50 licenses covering 4.3 million hectares, made the Gatsuurt discovery, and sold Gatsuurt to Cameco Gold in 2001.

Projects:
Mongolia -
Saddle Hills
The Saddle Hills property is now 100,659 hectares in the Saddle Hills "uranium basin" in northeastern Mongolia. The Saddle Hills property includes the Gurvanbulag target, which reportedly contains 42 million pounds of U3O8 or uranium oxide. Various press releases may be seen on the company web site relating to this property and surveys confirming it prospective for much uranium.

Yalbag
Yalbag is 4,200 hectares in north central Mongolia straddling the southeast side of the Khenteii Graben. The property covers a portion of the bounding graben fault and subsidiary cross structures. The rocks host extensive rich, placer gold deposits and bedrock gold mineralization. Previous drilling intersected 5.2 meters with a cut (to 30 g/t gold) weighted average of 16.75 g/t gold. Approximately 70 klicks away is Cameco's Gatsuurt deposit. Western Prospector has an agreement with Brant Enterprises for 100% of the Yalbag property.

Hulgar
The Hulgar property consists of three contiguous licenses totaling 37,500 hectares or 375 square km. A state road and power line cross the property. Hulgar covers a widespread porphyry-style molybdenum-copper mineralization. It is in the eastern part of the Southern Mongolia porphyry belt - the same belt that hosts the large Oyu Tolgoi deposit being explored by Ivanhoe Mines. Western Prospector has an agreement with Brant for 100% of the Hulgar property.

Ishgent
The Ishgent property is 26,500 hectares. It has at least six geochemical anomalies prospective for gold, copper, zinc, bismuth, mercury, tin, and molybdenum. Again, Western Prospector has acquired 100% of the property.

Canada -
Lakemount
The Lakemount property totals 3645 hectares covering precious metal and base metal occurrences as well as kimberlite. It is about ten klicks east of Wawa in northWestern Ontario. Optioned to PTM for 150,000 shares of PTM stock by 31 December 2008 and C$150K cash; PTM to perform $2.5 million in exploration and development; PTM to earn 51%. The property has been prospective for precious metals since 1928 when gold veins were uncovered that yielded samples grading three to ten grams per tonne (g/t). Copper-nickel mineralization was discovered in 1942, and by 1957 there were 146 drill holes partially defining the open-ended deposit along 800 meters length and 243 meters depth. The highlight hole was number 11, assaying 1.1% copper, half percent nickel, 4.2 g/t palladium, 1.5 g/t platinum over 17.4 meters. More recently, PTM has drilled 23 holes totalling 4,700 meters. We saw four results for Pt, Pd, and Au combined totals over 1 g/t, some 17 results showing over half a percent nickel, with the best results showing a meter of 2.5% nickel in one hole and 8 meters of 1.46 g/t Pt/Pd/Au in another. Two gold veins have been exposed over a length of 400 meters, with grab samples averaging 6.9 g/t gold, 4.9% copper, 6.7% zinc. One zone contains chip samples assaying 12 g/t gold over 3.1 meters. An additional ultramafic intrusive at Sunrise Lake, measures two kilometers by 600 meters, with additional platinum group prospects. Roscoe Postle Associates of Toronto have been retained to complete a resource estimate.

Indian River
The Indian River property is 778 placer claims covering a twenty-one klick length of the Indian River drainage. It is in the Southern part of the Yukon's Klondike gold fields, which are historically productive. (Forty-two percent of the 2.1 million ounces produced from the Klondike fields have been in Indian River drainage; this particular property has already produced 225,000 ounces gold.) Two extensive white channel valley benches (upstream and down) with large-scale bulk tonnage potential remain to be mined. Initial sampling shows 1.3 g/t gold and an estimate of the two benches in hand suggests potential of 110 million tonnes. In other words, there is a potential for 4.6 million ounces gold. The downstream bench is also prospective for tin, titanium, and scandium metals. The downstream bench is Y-shaped, exposed over 15 kilometers, averaging one km wide.

Western Prospector has optioned the Indian River property to Boulder Mining for C$300,000 cash, a million shares of BDR.V, a half million warrants priced at market at issuance, by 31 December 2007; BDR to incur C$5 million exploration expenditures in the same period. BDR is to earn 70% joint venture interest, subject to a 2% net smelter return to the underlying vendor.

Political risk: Western Prospector is exploring in Ontario (hardly "Western" Canada, but what's in a name?) and the Yukon, as well as in Mongolia. Both countries are stable politically, with strong gains by the freedom-oriented party in Mongolia suggesting a good climate there for mining exploration. The company is exploring and developing resources in gold, copper, molybdenum, nickel, and platinum group metals, which have low political risks. The company is also exploring and developing resources in uranium, which is less afflicted with political risk than it was twenty-five years ago when protestors were opposing nearly every nuclear project in north America or Western Europe.

Price: C$1.74
As with our other suggestions, we feel that a net asset analysis shows this stock to be dramatically under priced. The cash, gold, and uranium underlying value for each share, fully diluted, comes to about $50.22/share. Although this stock was the eighth best price performer in 2004 on its exchange, it still seems to be dramatically undervalued.

Free Market Money

Gold came unstuck. And fell right to the lower channel marker of its current uptrend. We thought some examination recent graphs might prove fruitful.

Shown below is a fourteen-day moving average of the New York close for spot gold. The price data is courtesy our friends at Kitco.com. Thanks Bart. The fourteen-day moving average (14dma) is a way of smoothing out short term price changes, without losing sight of the trend. In the first chart, you can see that the initial uptrend that began with the 14dma at $260 on 18 April 2001 was constrained for a year within the dark blue channel markers. More recently, the price movements fit within the purple lines. Clearly, the slope of the parallel blue lines is much less than that of the parallel purple lines. Shortly after Patriot's Day (19 April) 2002, the price of gold surged above the upper blue channel marker to find a new, higher-sloped channel.

Five year gold price 14 day moving average data courtesy Kitco.com

To define this new channel, we've drawn parallel orange lines on the chart below. The 14dma fits within these lines for the next three quarters before again surging to the upside. Gold was well above the upper orange channel marker in early 2003. Note also that the orange channel was somewhat wider than the blue channel.

Five year gold price 14 day moving average data courtesy Kitco.com

There are two further slopes to examine. To make the chart below more legible, we've removed the upper blue and orange channel markers. The next uptrend is guided between the two green channel markers. It appears that the 14dma moves above the upper green channel marker briefly in early 2004. Based on that penetration, and the apparent shift in slope of the lower points establishing the lower purple channel marker, we see a better fit with the purple lines. The low prices in late April 2003 and late April 2004 define the lower green channel marker. Clearly, the lowest prices subsequently fail to touch that slope, suggesting the purple channel as the better fit.

Five year gold price 14 day moving average data courtesy Kitco.com

As of Thursday 3 February 2005 at the close in New York, the 14dma had not penetrated the lower purple channel boundary. The average remains above that marker, suggesting a strong bounce off prices below $420 remains possible. However, assuming that prices remain below $420 long enough to move the 14dma lower, the green channel may provide adequate support. Obviously, gold is at a critical juncture in the present bull market. A drop below $400/oz would presumably signal the end of the first phase of the bull. On the whole, such a penetration would seem to be unlikely. It is particularly bizarre that the secular peak for this phase seems to be about $455, nowhere near the upper channel marker, nor any identifiable major resistance from past years.

Looking at the price itself, rather than a 14dma should be instructive. On the one year chart, the red line is the price of gold itself, as it closes each day in New York. It appears from our examination of this chart that there is indeed a drop through the bottom of the blue channel marker shown below, which we associate with the purple channel on the 14dma - although the two channels reflect different data. It seems likely that support is now at the chartreuse channel line shown below; whether that support is strong enough for a bounce is unclear at this time.

One year gold price NY close courtesy Kitco.com

Another approach to this type of analysis is the Fibonacci sequence. Accordingly, if we look at the recent price increase as a wave, running (ever so conveniently) from the low of this chart at $375/oz to the high at $454.20 (close in NY, not the intra-day high), we get a rise of $79.20. Assuming that 61% of that figure is eliminated in the current downward "wave," we predict a $48.31 drop, bringing the price to $405.89. So, again, something unusual would be involved in a drop below $400/oz.

Silver has run down a bit to close around $6.54/oz. It seems to have bounced nicely off the $6.45 level, and should head a little higher for a day or so.

Copper is at $1.433 per pound and heading lower. With the Sossego copper mine in Brazil now in operation, and Ivanhoe's Turquoise Hill mine in Mongolia anticipated to come on in 2007, supply seems to be catching up to demand. It won't last forever; copper exhibits a regular price cycle.

The three stocks we've suggested in this sector are PVH, GBH, and MCG. MCG is up slightly. The table below reflects change from the original suggestion.

Company Symbol gAu
s
Gold Barter Holdings GBH 0.3

- 0.700

MicroCasino MCG 0.64

+ 0.127

Pecunix Venture Holdings PVH 0.039

- 0.011

MCG is now ex-dividend. Investors who followed up on our suggestion should be pleased, as the dividends for October, November, December, January, and February were all distributed at once.

Space Frontier

Way back in the 1970s and 1980s, Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven cooperated on several essays, short stories, novels, and other books. Some of the memorable titles include A Step Further Out, Niven's classic Ringworld and sequels Ringworld Engineers, Ringworld Throne and Ringworld's Children.

Among the ideas discussed in these books and essays were some very large scale engineering projects. The Ringworld novels follow the adventures of a very long-lived Louis Wu who travels to an enormous construct, a ring or flat band 93 million miles in diameter, 10,000 miles wide, which orbits a star like our Sun. All the other planets have been removed from its star system. On the inner surface of the ring are forty mile high mountains along each edge, keeping in the atmosphere. The surface area facing the star is about three million times that of Earth. The ring rotates around its star, providing pseudo-gravity. The day-night cycle is provided by an inner circle of dark rectangles, joined by wires into a series of "shadow squares" with alternating empty spaces providing sunlight to the ring surface.

Another classic mega-engineering project is the Dyson sphere, named for its inventor Freeman Dyson of the Princeton University center for advanced studies. Reasoning that energy is valuable, Dyson proposed that future civilizations would seek to totally encapsulate the Sun, at a distance of perhaps Jupiter's orbit, so as to capture the entire energy output. Perhaps such advanced civilizations already exist elsewhere in our galaxy.

In an earlier short story, Niven postulated a faster than light craft engineered by a fantastic three-footed race called Pierson's Puppeteers. In the story, a human cosmonaut, Beowulf Schaeffer, is hired to pilot the vehicle close to the center of our galaxy. There, Schaeffer is witness to the cataclysmic explosion of numerous stars, the sort of event that created Seyfert galaxies elsewhere in the universe.

Seyfert galaxies are about 2% of all spiral galaxies. The Milky Way is believed to be a spiral galaxy, may have been or may become a Seyfert. Some Seyfert galaxies emit so intensely in the X-ray or gamma ray parts of the spectrum that they are believed to be unable to have life as we know it anywhere within them.

In the Niven story, Schaeffer returns to the region of space near our Solar System to return the faster than light experimental vehicle. He reports his findings about the numerous stars in chain reaction supernovae. Within a generation, the Puppeteers disappear from "known space." Louis Wu subsequently finds their home worlds fleeing the galaxy.

In one of the books, either Niven or Pournelle propose that finding a Dyson sphere or Ringworld heading out of the galaxy would be dramatic news, indeed. Using magnetic resonance effects, Niven suggests that the star of a Ringworld system could be caused to flare selectively, propelling the star and its ring wherever the giant intellects involved in its creation would wish.

Now, for the first time, astronomers have identified a star leaving the center of the Milky Way at high speed, roughly 1.5 million miles per hour. It was probably ejected from the center of our galaxy following a close encounter with a black hole. Probably part of a binary star system, the outcast star was thrown outward as its companion was dragged into the black hole.

Now that star is 180 thousand light years from Earth in an outer region of the galaxy known as the halo. It was probably traveling upwards of 20 million miles per hour when it left the black hole's immediate vicinity. For comparison purposes, our galaxy is about 100,000 light years across, and a light year is around six trillion miles. A light year is the distance that light travels in one year.

Naturally, the presence of a large black hole at the center of our galaxy would seem to be likely, given this dramatic new information. The outcast star seems to have been near a black hole, near the center of our galaxy, rather a long time ago. Our calculation suggests about 10.2 million years ago. A large black hole may figure prominently in a Seyfert galaxy situation; thus, our galaxy may have been emitting like a Seyfert, or may soon do so.

Of course, there is no evidence that a civilization was involved in the outcast star fleeing the center of our galaxy. It is, however, an interesting thought.

At this point in our history, if the center of our galaxy began to emit like a Seyfert galaxy, and the wave front reached us, there's nothing we could do about it. Essentially all life on Earth would be destroyed, and an unknown period would follow during which life was very unlikely to arise.

If the wave front reaches us in a thousand years, though, we could be in a much better position to do various things about it. Probably couldn't run, but we could certainly do a better job at hiding or shielding a planet-sized body. In ten thousand years, we might be shielding the interior of a Dyson sphere. In a million years, at just ten percent of the speed of light, we could be on the other side of the galaxy. (In 1987, Keith Henson invited me and a few dozen others at the North American Science Fiction convention to his "party at the other side of the galaxy." The invitation says a million years from 1987. Keep your calendar open!) By then, we might be able to out-run light.

Here's how things stand for the stock we suggested in this sector:

SpaceDev is at $1.64. It is up $0.14 since we first suggested it.

Launch Technology

Our old friend Gregg Maryniak was running the Space Studies Institute in Princeton when we met to cooperate on a Lunar Prospector Team. While we did raise some funds for a private lunar polar orbiter, Space Studies ultimately supported a NASA mission for $50 million or so which ultimately discovered lakes of water ice at the poles of the Moon.

We found Gregg's comment amusing because, let's face it, one would be hard pressed to offer a worse safety record than the space shuttle program. Admittedly, it did take nearly 35 years from design to kill a total of fourteen astronauts, after tens of millions of "passenger miles," but, on the other hand, the space tourism industry does not need to be running the same tired fleet decade after decade while lying to Congress about budgets and the like.

Gregg's comments came with his announcement of the Personal Spaceflight Federation. The industry group plans to help draw up "rules of the road" for suborbital tourism. Gregg cited survey after survey indicating that 70 percent of Americans would pay for a trip into space if the price were right and it were available today.

Other founding members of the federation are SpaceX's Elon Musk, reportedly taking aim at the $50 million orbital spaceflight prize posted by Bigelow; Alex Tai of Virgin Galactic; Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites; John Carmack of Armadillo Aerospace; Stuart Witt of the California Mojave Spaceport, Michael Kelly of the reusable launch vehicle working group of the commercial space transportation advisory committee of the USA department of transportation; Jeff Greason of Xcor Aerospace; our old friend Gary Hudson of T/Space and HMX; George French of Rocketplane, Ltd; Eric Anderson of Space Adventures; and Peter Diamandis of the X-Prize Foundation and that weird little parabolic aircraft tourism company, Zero Gravity or some such, which he finally got licensed or waivered after eight years. We were disappointed to learn of the organization this week, having not been invited to participate.

New Country Developments

Dr. Mirawdeli goes on to give some results by precinct. The fewest voters against independence were in Kirkuk and Mosul provinces, the most voting against independence were in Hewler (Arbil) and Sulaymani provinces.

These results, he points out, should not be surprising to anyone. "A nation subjected to 80 years of oppression, enslavement, and genocide, a nation with 200,000 of their sons and daughters lying in mass graves, and their identity, freedom, and human rights denied by racists and colonialists, it is only natural and human for them to choose liberation versus occupation, freedom versus slavery, self-determination versus despotism." Would that we had someone quite so brilliant at oratory in the Free Mountain West.

Dr. Mirawdeli goes on to wonder whether policy makers in Washington or London will pay any attention to the referendum. He certainly makes the case that Kurdish "leaders" in Baghdad will not, trying as they seem to be to "brainwash our people to ... seduce them to return to the yoke of Arab fascism." One is reminded of the "scalawags," the pro-Union Southerners who were so prominent in post-war Confederate legislatures.

"Now our people have ...expressed their free will.... To what extent ...messenger of liberation and democracy in the Middle East the Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice ...sincere in the promotion of liberation and democratic choice in the Middle East: this is the Kurdish test waiting for their response. Condoleeza was right to call for a Palestinian state if that is the choice made by the Palestinians despite the fact that this will be the Arabs' 23rd state. But what about the Kurdish state which has been a de facto reality for the last 13 years?" asks Dr. Mirawdeli, with an increasingly strident tone.

"We just want the implementation of the universal principle of self-determination established by the United Nations principles, conventions and practices. We want the messengers of freedom to understand that freedom has just one colour and it is a universal gift of God." How about that!

It appears that trade and commerce are blooming in Kurdistan, with lowered tariff barriers and the end of trade sanctions. Previously, during the 12 years of economic sanctions, international trade was mostly handled by smuggling accomplished by a small group of wealthy businessmen who were affiliated with either the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) or the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). (Gosh, we hope that's a short "u" sound and not a long one.) Omar Haji Mahmud, a rice and sugar importer, says, "A whole new generation of businessmen has sprung up since the war with new ideas, new energy, and international connections."

Longevity

Mr. Kiefer goes on to report on nutrients that promote mitochondrial health. He mentions coenzyme Q10, acetyl-L-carnitine, and alpha-lipoic acid. "According to the mitochondrial theory of aging, free electrons are generated as a byproduct of aerobic respiration, which is the chain of adenosine triphosphate producing chemical reactions that occur within the mitochondria. These electrons convert oxygen to a highly reactive form, which in turn creates still more reactive oxygen species, capable of ravaging proteins and lipids while wreaking havoc with DNA over time." Acetyl-L-carnitine and lipoic acid improve mitochondrial function, protect brain cells, and "restore flagging energy."

An acetyl-L-carnitine derivative, acetyl-L-carnitine arginyl amide stimulates brain cells, promoting new connections to other neurons. "This beneficial derivative...also protects brain cells from the toxic effects of aggregated amyloid beta peptide...that forms plaques ...in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's...," says Mr. Kiefer. He also discusses carnosine to prevent glycation associated with wrinkles, cataracts, and diabetes. Acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation is also associated with improved memory, reversal of age-related hearing loss, and improvements in glycation of eye lens proteins. It should go without saying that the Life Extension Foundation offers supplements such as their "mitochondrial energy optimizer" from their web site.

Jonathan Alpert, MD, and other scientists at Harvard Medical School have established that dietary supplement S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) improves symptoms of depression in otherwise nonresponsive patients. The pilot study at Mass General involved 30 patients who failed to respond to Prozac® or similar. Half the patients showed significant improvement with SAMe and 43% showed complete remission of symptoms. No serious adverse effects were reported. See also the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology for December 2004.

We mentioned di-hydro-epi-androsterone (DHEA) as a "mother of all hormones" which is produced by the adrenal glands, and which declines with advancing age. A new study suggests it is helpful in reducing abdominal fat, improving insulin resistance, and reducing artherosclerosis. Dennis T. Villareal, MD, and John O. Holloszy, MD of the Washington University in St. Louis school of medicine studied 28 men and 28 women ages 65 to 78, receiving 50 mg DHEA per day or placebo for six months. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to measure subcutaneous fat and visceral abdominal fat before and after the treatment period. Glucose and insulin responses were tested with oral glucose tolerance tests. The DHEA recipients had significant fat reductions - women losing 10.2% of their visceral fat; men losing 7.4%. Subcutaneous fat loss averaged 6% for men and women. Placebo recipients gained samll amounts of both kinds of fat. DHEA improved insulin action and did not cause any elevation in the male subjects' prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. See Journal of the American Medical Association for November 2004.

Sulforaphane blocks cell growth in late-stage human breast cancer cells. Sulforaphane is found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Dr. Keith Singletary and Dr. Steven Jackson of the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana believe that sulforaphane could be used to prevent and treat breast cancer. Their study is reported in the September 2004 Journal of Nutrition.

A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2004 indicates that micronutrients are important to the immune response system. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Muhimbili College of Health Sciences in Tanzania studied HIV infected women giving them multivitamins containing B-complex vitamins, C, and E. Recipients of the multivitamins showed significant slowing of HIV progression. Multivitamins also reduced complications such as oral thrush, nausea, and diarrhea.


Publication note: There was an error in last week's chart for Freegold. ITF was at C$0.28 which was shown as C$0.30 by mistake. The change from our first suggestion of this stock was correctly displayed as unchanged. We've corrected the error, and some spelling errors in that issue.


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